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Palestine president issues decree criminalising denial of Nakba

May 31, 2023 at 4:01 pm

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank on 6 February 2022 [Palestinian Presidency/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas issued a presidential decree making it a criminal offence to deny the Nakba.

Defining the Nakba as “the crime against humanity committed against the Palestinian people in 1948,” the decree also stipulates that “the denial of the Nakba is a crime punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment” and that “the relevant state authorities are tasked with holding perpetrators to account in accordance with the law, inside the state and out of it.”

Moreover, the decree designates 15 May as the official day for commemorating the Nakba and holding activities “to establish the national Palestinian narrative in Palestine and throughout the world.”

Nakba Day is marked annually by Palestinians to remember the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes and areas in 1948 to make way for the founding of the state of Israel.

The decree comes after Abbas spoke at a UN event held to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Nakba, calling on the international community to suspend Israel’s membership in the UN for obstructing the implementation of UN resolutions and international law.

He also accused the US and the UK of “remaining silent” against the ongoing aggressions and refusing to hold Israel accountable for its occupation of Palestinian land and construction of illegal settlements.

According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the Nakba resulted in the displacement of nearly 800,000 Palestinians out of 1.4 million Palestinians who lived in historical Palestine in 1948 in 1,300 villages and towns.

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